Oyster Card/Travelcard Question

Dec 31st, 2014, 09:01 AM
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Oyster Card/Travelcard Question

Am I correct to think that the only reason someone would want to purchase a Travelcard or add one to their Oyster Card would be to take advantage of 2-4-1 offers?
Greenhouse is online now  
Dec 31st, 2014, 11:26 AM
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You need a paper travel card for the 2-4-1 offers. The Oyster card is not a paper card, so it can't be used for the 2-4-1 offers.
anyegr is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Ok. But if someone is not interested in the 2-4-1 offers, is there any reason to go with a Travelcard instead of an Oyster Card?
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Dec 31st, 2014, 12:51 PM
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A travel card can be either paper OR plastic (Oyster). Only paper travel cards are valid for the 2-4-1 offers. If you are travelling solo you have no use for the 2-4-1 offers, so a plastic/Oyster card would work equally well.

The Oyster card is a plastic card that is the size of a credit card. You can load it with money or a multi-day travel card or both.

There is a small sum (I think it's five pounds, but that was years ago so I'm not sure if it still is) you need to pay as a sort of deposit to get an Oyster card. But I also think that can be reimbursed if you turn the card in later. I haven't tried getting the deposit back (the card can be reused again on the next trip to London), so I have no idea how difficult that would be. So if you don't want the trouble of dealing with the deposit problem a paper card would be better.

But I've heard that they don't sell paper cards at all tube stations, so you may have to go searching for it. I've never bothered, since I've always travelled solo when going to London.
anyegr is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 01:14 PM
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OK -- simple answer. A 'Travel Card' is simply one type of fare you can load on an Oyster.

If you aren't interested in the 2for1 discounts ignore any discussion of paper travel cards.
janisj is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 11:38 PM
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The difference you are asking about is the difference between a travelcard fare and pay-as-you-go fares. The last time I tried working it out, a one-day travelcard breaks even at around three to four journeys per day; PAYG payments for any one day are capped at the rate for a one-day travelcard. The big savings depend on the use you might make of a 7-day travelcard: roughly speaking, it would break even after 14 journeys. So

- are you likely to make more than 14 journeys during your stay?
- is the difference between [one-day travelcard rate £6.40* x the number of days you're staying] and [7-day travelcard rate £32.10*] significant for you?

*These figures will be more if you need to travel outside central zones 1-2; if you only need to do this occasionally, e.g., for Heathrow, then you can put extra money for the add-on fare on to the Oystercard.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 01:07 AM
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Get an oyster card if you're not interested in the 2for1 offers. You can put a 7 day travel card on the oyster card. Or just put money on the card; it will never be more expensive than a paper one-day travel card, and for longer journeys outside zone 1-2, just put some extra money on.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 01:35 AM
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Travelcards generally work out cheaper the longer you stay. You are allowed to mix and match Travelcard & PAYG on the same Oystercard so you can load a Zone 1-2 Travelcard (ie central London) then add cash for travel to - say - Heathrow or Hampton Court

There's also the contactless payment option but I would really want to know how my bank would treat the payment before using it.

dotheboyshall is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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And a word of warning - if you get an Oyster card, keep it separate from contactless bank or credit cards - touching in the Oyster card on entering/leaving any form of public system can be done with the Oyster card in your wallet. But if you have a contactless card next to it, this may get debited instead - which can be expensive!
Grindeldoo is offline  
Mar 6th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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Ok. I thought this thread might help but it has only given me a headache.

Here's the scenario. I'm hoping someone can tell me exactly what to purchase and where (staying near Leicester Square station)

10 day stay, most travel will be within zone 1 and 2 (transportation from airport is taken care of) but there will be 1 or 2 trips out to zone 6. Also will be taking a day trip to Bath by train.

I'm thinking my dd and her husband should buy the 7 day travel card (from an overground Nat'l Rail Station) where they will need to provide a photo.
My question is, is this only good for 7 consecutive days?
Can they just use an Oyster card for 3 days/days they won't be taking advantage of a 2-4-1 offer?

Is there a better way?
Greenhouse is online now  
Mar 6th, 2015, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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The 7 day travel card is for consecutive days. As you're taking advantage of the 2 for 1 offers buy the paper version from a railway station - the nearest to Leicester Square is Charing Cross. That can cover all travel in zones 1 and 2 for 7 consecutive days.

For your extra three days and journeys out to zone 6 get an Oyster Card from a tube station and add enough money to pay for these trips. Return your card at a Tube station to get your deposit back and any cash left on the card.


You'll need a separate train ticket to get to Bath. Book in advance (cheapest) or buy at Paddington.

sofarsogood is offline  
Mar 7th, 2015, 08:29 AM
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Thank you, sofar!
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